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Divine Lorraine may shine once again

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010



A landmark building on North Broad Street that has fallen into disrepair since its days as a hotel and a mecca for followers of a cultlike religious figure, could finally be on track for a rebirth.

The magnificent hulk of a building at Broad and Fairmount in Philadelphia may be covered in graffiti now, but the Divine Lorraine was once an architectural gem.

Developers want to bring the Divine Lorraine back, but of course that requires money. So the city has agreed to put up almost $3.4 million toward the project, if the developer’s application to the state for low-income housing tax credits is successful.

Paul Chrystie, a spokesman for the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development, said Tuesday the money the city would put up is intended for this sort of project.

“They are federal funds — home funds and community development block grant funds that the city gets and they are for purposes like this,” said Chrystie. “Taking an underutilized structure and enabling it to be repurposed and also having that create revitalization in the area immediately adjacent to it.”

Chrystie said about half the building’s floors would be turned into affordable housing. He said the developers expect to find out if they’ve received the low-income housing tax credits next summer.


One Comment

  • Laura says:

    This building should not be used for low income housing, it should be restored to it’s original beauty and rented out to people who will respect the place for a reasonable price. If it’s used for low income housing it will be destroyed and all the work put into it will be worth nothing. N Phila is up and coming; lets not bring it back down by making the Divine Lorraine a low income housing unit there are enough buildings and neighborhoods less beautiful for that purpose.

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